Richards trio are ready


TRAINER Gordon Richards is trembling with anticipation as he prepares to unleash three of his powerful chasing squad in key Christmas races. His holiday challenge will be spearheaded by One Man in the Pertemps King George VI Chase at Kempton on St Stephen's Day.

On the same day at Wetherby he sends out The Grey Monk to tuckle the Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase while the following day it's Parsons Boy's turn in the Coral Welsh National at Chepstow.

Richards' main fear is that the weather could throw a spanner into the works. "All the horses are well but the forecast was good and I wish the races were on now rather than next week," he said.

One Man is in tip-top condition as he tries to land the King George VI Chase for the second year running. "I have to say I'm shaking with worry because One Man is very very well and I wish the race was today," he said.

"He's popping and bouncing and might be the best I've ever had him. He had to miss the race at Haydock last week because of the weather and he's dying for a run.

"But I know the forecast isn't good and I hope the weather doesn't spoil things again. If it does, we'll definitely be on our way to Sandown again as happened last season.

Should the frost stay away, at exactly the same time in the afternoon (2.15) The Grey Monk will be seeking to make it a great across-the-card double for Richards. The gelding lost his unbeaten record over fences when second to Coome Hill at Newbury.

Parsons Boy has won both his races this season, the latest coming at Haydock Park last month.